You may have noticed retailers are experimenting with a new way to get your attention: packaging that comes alive like a 3-D video game right there in the store. It's called "augmented reality", and in some cases it makes the box more fun than what's inside.
From Band-Aids that project videos to entertain your child, to Lego boxes that show you what the finished project will look like, marketers are stretching the limits of product packaging.
Scott Stein of CNET.com describes augmented reality packaging this way:
“You can see the action figure moving around before you buy it. We're also seeing it on food products that can pop out and show you recipes or ideas that links to other websites.”
The object comes to life using a special app and your smart phone's screen.
You just hold the phone over a certain point or label on the product, and the show begins.
“So it will look three-dimensional and it will look like it's on that piece of paper or on that product but it's only being held on your phone”, Stein says.
Ron Hill, a marketing professor at Villanova University adds, “That product will pop up and we can have additional information on it and we can see it being used in different kinds of contexts.”
Who's using this the most? Car makers, food and entertainment companies, and of course, toy manufacturers. It's another way to grab your child's attention there in the store and increase the chances you'll buy the product.
Sometimes the special apps can even reveal extra savings before you make the purchase.
With marketers competing to come up with the most creative augmented reality packaging, your kid may not want to throw the box away when you get home.